How often do you find that you are about to start something with the best intentions only to find … sorry, hang on a minute, let me just read this email, oh, I better have a look into this… and sometime later we’re back to writing this feature!
There are several reasons we (and I include myself in this!) let procrastination get a grip. These may include:
- Waning interest – This is sooooo boring!
- Motivation – The Mojo has taken a holiday!
- Skill factor – Umm, how do I do this?
- Rebel – Don’t want to do it and I’ll prove I don’t have the time!
- Failure – What if I can’t do this?
- Success – If I do well, will they expect more?
There will be more but I have found that these 6 normally top the bill, so let’s look at them individually.
- Waning interest – If, like me, when doing something that’s not that interesting, the ping of an email or something irrelevant but enjoyable suddenly seems to take precedence … STOP! Find somewhere without the distractions and concentrate.
- Motivation – Do you believe you need motivation to begin a task? How about this for a radical idea, start the task and then find it! Even the initial steps to beginning a task can promote the somewhat lacking motivation. Set yourself up with a reward once complete, after this feature, a nice inexpensive filter coffee and half hour read of a book will be mine!
- Skill factor –Sometimes it’s our own beliefs that hold us back. As a coach, many of my clients hold unfounded beliefs until we establish exactly where the problems lie and look at ways to overcome them. Consider breaking tasks into manageable parts. What is the starting point and the desired end goal? See what areas you are competent at, others may require some additional training or even delegating.
- Rebel – Predominantly another ‘subconscious’ level barrier generated from power struggles. I was amazed how when someone gave me a task I didn’t wish to carry out I managed to find every reason for not accomplishing it on time, whereas, jobs I did enjoy, would be cleared straight away! Remove the ‘Emotional’ attachment to the task and look at it from a practical sense. How much trouble would I be in if I don’t complete it? How will this benefit my business by completing on time? Only you can know the truth of this and letting the emotional attachment go will give a much clearer picture.
- Failure – None of us set out to fail, nonetheless, it is something that we learn from. Each step we take we learn something new or to persevere can win out in the end. Take J.K.Rowling for example, she got rejected by numerous publishers while working as a waitress. Her break came from the publisher’s 8yr old daughter begging him to publish it! Sometimes it’s simply down to timing!.
- Success – “Now if I do this right, they’ll expect me to continue or even improve!” Maybe expectations of you will be increased? And with each successful outcome, you raise your standards once again. Consider each and every task on its own merits WITHOUT considering where it may lead.
There are many tools that can help with procrastination, however, the biggest obstacle is ourselves! Until we start to realise what our own barriers are, procrastination will let its tentacles stretch out and feed on our daily distractions.
Coaching to success work towards breaking down barriers, opening up confidence levels, assessing what’s ahead and planning to succeed in whatever goal their clients wish to attain. To improve your own levels of procrastination or focus, take the first step by contacting Neil on 07761 187238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’re online, have a look at his interview video at https://youtu.be/RvCwOL4hPco where you’ll be assured a warm welcome to discuss how we can help.